It was a night for recognition and a bit of fun when the Tillamook County Composite Squadron/Flight 114 landed at Kitty’s Food & Spirits this past month. The unit held its inaugural Holiday Dining Out with a promotion ceremony on Dec. 12, 2019.

The evening was punctuated by remarks from Civil Air Patrol (CAP) officials recognizing the efforts and dedication of its volunteer members. There was an emphasis on teaching the next generation of cadets to be aerospace and military leaders if they choose those paths, giving them a head start on life and a goal-achieving mindset.

The evening marked a new tradition for the Tillamook unit. While it may have been missing a few facets, the event was a much more formal, traditional Dining Out event than past affairs thanks to some assistance from the community, and the work of members who arranged to raise the bar while honoring service and promoting three cadet members to higher ranks.

The centerpiece of the night was an oral history presentation about the Tillamook blimp base from Tillamook Air Museum Curator Christian Gurling. Look for more on that in a coming edition of the Headlight. Gurling has been curator for 12 years and is currently working to modernize the museum with interactive, immersive exhibits that appeal to all ages.

Meien Shiomi was promoted to Cadet/Senior Master Sergeant, Justis Hyde was promoted to Cadet/Staff Sergeant, and Maya Wilks was promoted to Cadet/Airman. Kitty’s owner Joel Baker was among a number of honorees during the evening. He was recognized both for hosting the event and for decades of musical performances for military organizations.

Since CAP’s formation early on during World War II, citizen Airmen have been committed to national service. Founded on Dec. 1, 1941, to mobilize the nation’s civilian aviation resources for national defense service, CAP has evolved into a premier public service organization that still carries out emergency service missions when needed — in the air and on the ground.

An Air Force auxiliary partner, CAP is there to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. Its members devote themselves to the well-being of their communities while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and helping shape future leaders through CAP’s cadet program.

Tillamook County Composite Squadron 114 welcomes new youth and adult members throughout the year. There are opportunities for excitement and education for all ages. Young people up to age 18 can join as cadets, and those 18 and older can join as senior members.

There are three main programs in CAP: Search and Rescue, Aerospace Education and Cadet Programs. You can find CAP on social media at Facebook.com/cap.tillamook.1

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